While I am a not a fan of schools paying lots of money for interactive whiteboards, I am all for inexpensive alternatives. This summer my students built a wiimote interactive whiteboard. They made a wiki about it that shows how they put it all together.
The students had a few interesting ideas for using it, but summer school ended before we had a chance to really research the best ways to use iboards in the classroom. In my own research, I’ve found that most teachers use iboards for the following:
â€¢ Having the internet live and accessible to the entire room
â€¢ Making diagrams, flowcharts, etc. with the included software
â€¢ Making flipcharts for vocabulary or highlighting learning material
â€¢ Recording the screen during a lesson and posting for review or absent students
â€¢ Interactive educational games for the students (where they can touch the screen)
Aside from the last example, an iboard is not necessary for any of these functions. However, you can add the functionality of interactivity with a wiimote whiteboard for about $40. Here is what I’ll be using the wiimote board for this year. These are all iboard specific activities, but most could be modified for use with just a projector. All of these applications are free.
â€¢ Jeopardy and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader interactive review games. Before a test, I like to play these review games with students. The wiimote board will allow them to interact a bit more.
â€¢ Individual review games with classtools.net. This is an excellent site with a variety of game choices that allow students to review in class material
â€¢ Demonstrating and recording multi-step math problems with kindlelab and sketchcast See an example here.
â€¢ Drawing and manipulating diagrams in kindlelab or sketchfu. It’s probably easier to draw on the board, but there is a large color palette and some other tools to animate with on kindlelab. Plus, I can save and post whatever I draw on the computer apps.
â€¢ Showing students how to use new computer applications with my hands rather than a mouse pointer. It’s a lot easier to see where my large man-hands are pointing, than a mouse pointer.
I’m sure that I’ll find more creative uses as the year goes on, but these are things I’ve already used in class that will take on a new dimension with the wiimote board.